Research in magnetic therapy is divided into two distinct areas: pulsed magnetic therapy and static or fixed magnetic therapy. Pulsed magnetic therapy uses a magnetic field that changes with time using very precise frequencies, waveforms and intensities that vary. Static magnetic therapy involves static magnets that are fixed in intensity, and have no frequency or waveform associated with them. Static magnetic therapy products abound in the marketplace and include a plethora of products from magnetic mattress pads, to magnetic bracelets, knee braces, elbow braces, shoe inserts, back braces, pillows, ankle braces, eye pillows and just about every type of brace or support you can imagine for all the joints.
So why are pulsed magnetic fields and PEMF therapy more effective than static magnets for pain, healing and regeneration? The answer is two-fold. First, static magnets have no variation and remain constant in intensity with no frequency so the body quickly habituates to the signal. The second drawback of static magnets is that there is no changing magnetic field to induce an electrical current.
So let’s look a little closer at the two problems with static magnets.
i. Constant Field the Body Acclimates to Over TimeThe first problem with static magnets is that the body will easily acclimate to a constant signal with no variation, so results and benefits will decrease over time. It’s similar to body building in that if you consistently work out the same way, the benefits and gains level off fairly quickly. By constantly varying your workout, your body will continuously benefit with no plateauing (this is the basis and success of P90X® exercise).
Not only does the body habituate to a constant signal of magnets over time with waning benefits, but static magnets also rely on a high intensity to deliver results; so cellular fatigue can set in and treatment begins to be even counterproductive and unhealthy.
Static magnets have only ONE field strength, so plotting this field on a graph of intensity versus time yields a straight line. Pulsed magnetic fields, especially those found in leading PEMF therapy mat devices have several layers of variation in the frequency and waveform, so the cells will not become fatigued and habituated. Also PEMF therapy mats typically reverse polarity every two minutes and sometimes even offer a biorhythm clock that further varies the frequencies depending on the time of day.
ii. Lack of Frequency to Create Microcurrents and Ion Transport Because static magnets are static, they have no frequency and by Faraday’s law cannot create an electrical current directly. Though because the body is dynamic with moving blood, lymph etc., they do passively create microcurrents but to a much lesser extent than PEMFs.Life is MOTION, and pulsing fields will always induce electrical currents directly. Think about your local power plant that uses “moving” magnets to create electrical currents which power your household. Moving magnets create a pulsed magnetic field and by Faraday’s law an electrical current is generated. Just having large magnets at a power plant will never create power... They must be moving! Movement of the magnets can be driven by fossil fuels, water, wind, etc. Ultimately power to your house is delivered by large, powerful moving magnets (or copper coils moving relative to the magnets, either way from a relativistic reference frame, the magnets are moving relative to the copper creating an electrical current which delivers your power).
The pulsed magnetic fields generated by good PEMF devices penetrate through the body with little or no interference; and the electrical induction created assists with ion transport, energy flow, regeneration and more. When a magnetic field changes or pulses, it has the ability to induce a weak electrical charge into the cells of the body, which is beneficial to the cells, giving them the energy they need to repair and reproduce.
Remember our discussion of TMP in the last chapter. The TMP or transmembrane potential is one of the primary ways the body stores energy. Pulsed magnetic fields effectively charge the TMP by stimulating ion transport (sodium-potassium pump). Only pulsed magnetic fields can effectively drive these channels and help increase cellular energy and ion flow (nutrients in and waste products out).
iii. Other Problems with Static MagnetsThere are three additional problems to consider… The first is that most static magnets have very shallow penetration into the body, resulting in a very limited ability to effect deeper tissues. And the second point is static magnets will rarely treat all the cells of the body at the same time, whereas a PEMF device with a full body mat will provide much deeper and broader whole-body benefits. And thirdly, static magnets do help with local pain relief, but once removed, benefits quickly dissipate. Just 8 minutes of PEMF therapy lasts up to 12 hours or longer. PEMF penetrates deeper, works with the whole body and the results last longer than static magnets.
NOTE: static magnets do work well for localized “spot” relieve in which there is constant exposure (wearing the magnets constantly using straps, braces, bands, belts, etc.). But considering that most full body mat devices come with localized applicators that have deeper and longer lasting effects, there is really no need to invest in static magnets if you have a good earth-based PEMF therapy device with a full body mat.Also remember, the body, mind and earth’s fields are dynamic, not static and pulse to the beat of frequencies in the 0-30 Hz range. This brings us to what we should look for in a PEMF device, having hopefully demonstrated that PEMF therapy is the most effective and natural form of energy medicine. Let’s start by looking at the landmark NASA study.
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